Here i go again. I’m about to start taking yet another antidepressant and I’m nervous. Third times the charm, right? Or will this be three strikes, you’re out?
I used to be so naive about medications. First, I thought they were just these horrible pills that made people feel worse than they already did. I heard all the horror stories. I mean, seriously, how can an ANTI-depressant make someone feel suicidal? How does that make sense? How is it worth trying?
Eventually I reached a point where I needed to admit I couldn’t fight my demons alone. I started to fantasize about this little white pill that I would take every day and magically be cured of the horrible thoughts I’d had my whole life. The thoughts that were getting stronger, the ones that would eventually kill me. I realized that it was worth trying, because doing nothing was worse.
I finally spoke to my doctor and she immediately gave me a script for Zoloft. I left the office crying with relief. I was so relieved that I finally found the courage to talk about my problems. Then I went to pick up my new prescription and I felt so much anxiety walking up to the pharmacy counter.
‘This is who I am now. I’m gonna be popping pills my whole life. What are these people going to think of me? I don’t look like someone who needs happy pills, right? Maybe I should look sad. What will people think? Why am I doing this?‘
Despite my hesitation, I started taking my pills just as my doctor prescribed. After a few weeks of not feeling so great, the side effects began to wind down. I was still depressed, I was gaining weight, and after upping the dose a few times, my doc and I agreed that this was not the one for me.
Next I tried Lexapro. Same deal at first, with all the fun side effects as I adjusted to my new medication. I was already feeling pretty bad, so feeling bad wasn’t a big deal. Then I started to relax. I was feeling better. I got used to feeling better, and I got greedy. Once a month, when my pmdd flared up, my regular meds weren’t enough, so I convinced myself that I needed more. Plus, the weight gain from my first medication had continued through the second one. So then came the time to wean off my second.
It’s now been over six months since I started my
journey my roller coaster of crazy, easing up, testing the waters, then weaning off these medications that my body seems to be sensitive to. I’ve gained almost 35 pounds since the start, and now I’ve lost my last shred of self confidence as well as any remaining sanity I may have had stored away. I decided I’d had enough. I needed to take a break from it and try to deal with it myself.
And that was a DISASTER. As I came off of Lexapro, I started slowly feeling the anxiety that I used to deal with every day. Again, I was waking up very day exhausted after getting only sporadic bouts of restless sleep. I started feeling that lump in my throat at the thought of making a phone call or talking to someone I didn’t know well. Then I started having full blown panic attacks again. Hell, my voice was shaking when I had my best friend over. The one person that I always feel like I can share with, and I was on the verge of an anxiety attack hanging out with HER. It’s getting out of control.
I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb having an anxiety attack, so most of my symptoms were a lifelong normal for me.But it wasn’t until I went without them that I truly understood that the way I was living was not normal, and not okay. And then I finally realized how badly I want it all to stop and never come back.
So here I go. I called my doc, and as usual, she agreed to switch me to something that may be better for me. This one is supposed to help me lose weight as well as act as an antidepressant, so I’m trying to have high hopes. But now I’ve learned. There is no magic white pill. You can’t just “pop a pill” and feel better. Sometimes it takes months to find the right one. Sometimes you need more than one. Sometimes it takes years to find the right combination. Sometimes medication will do nothing but make someone worse. But for me, I need to believe that the right combination is out there. Because going at this alone is no longer an option.